Barcoding 101 and How To Automate Traceability – Webinar
Presented by Judith Kirkness (Minotaur Software), Roger Kirkness (Catchmate)
Supply chain traceability is coming and it won’t be on paper. All of the major retailers and food service distributors in Ontario want some kind of GFSI (global food safety initiative) approved food safety audit certification in order to sell your products through their stores and distribution facilities. If you sell to the US or plan to, FSMA requires that foreign suppliers implement electronic traceability systems, so the need to upgrade software is top of mind for many companies.
GFSI requires that food processors establish, implement and maintain a variety of procedures and systems in order to ensure adequate food safety. This includes the ability to trace a material through all stages of manufacture, processing and distribution – also known at one-up, one-down lot traceability.
Other GFSI requirements include:
- Identify any outsourced products, materials and services related to food safety
- Identify products with a unique product code, processor ID and batch/item ID
- Record location of all suppliers and customers for each lot traced transaction
- Identify materials, including recycled goods and re-work, that could pose food safety risk
- Ability to produce timely and accurate lot trace information
Food processors can encounter a variety of challenges when implementing and maintaining GFSI-level certification, and those challenges and individual requirements can vary by the scheme you choose. In terms of lot traceability, different auditing bodies has different definitions for lot traceability:
- BRC says that end-to-end traceability must be done within 4 hours
- SQF requires records for receiving, production and shipping have lot information
- SQF requires some traceability audits be performed during unannounced visit
- CFIA requires traceability be achieved in under 24 hours during a recall
- Consumers and customers may have different, shorter expectations for response
Most food processors still use paper to achieve lot traceability. Estimates from surveys of processors across Canada suggest as many at 80% of food processors are yet to automate traceability using technology on the plant floor, in the warehouse and in the front-office. Automated traceability is not required, yet, but that is being proposed in the Safe Foods for Canadians Act and meeting GFSI-level certification requirements with paper-based systems is a challenge.
On September 27th, 2016, we will talk about the various business benefits you can derive from automating traceability above and beyond meeting GFSI-requirements. This is a critical milestone in being listed by and successful partnering with major retailers and food service distributors, especially in the US.
We will be discussing a variety of topics relevant to making the most of your traceability data:
- How to decode the various kinds of barcodes in use today
- How retailers want you to package and send the data (database vs. electronic exchange)
- How you can use automated traceability to make more margin and reduce inventory
- How you can establish a relationship with GS1 and get the codes and barcodes for traceability
- How barcodes can be used to reduce the record keeping burden and make things easier for your customers in the supply chain to continue tracing your products to stores and restaurants
- What tools you can use to assess your existing traceability system against industry standards